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It’s such an ordinary day. Sunny, but not too warm. And there’s some clouds in the sky. There’s a slight breeze, but not windy and not stagnant.

This is the kind of day where something extraordinary has to happen or else it’ll be a total waste of twenty-four hours.

I’m outside getting the newspaper, my staccato steps on the driveway accompanied by a chorus of birdsong. Like usual, no one else is outside. At nine o’clock, everyone is gone, at work or at school. Except me. I have nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to talk to.

Then I see him on the other side of the street. I can’t quite describe the feeling I get when our eyes meet. Like shivers tickling up my spine. Like my heart beating fast and pounding hard. Like breathless as though I just ran a marathon with asthma.

Some magnetic force keeps my gaze on him. Like a seagull to French fries and Doritos I can’t stop myself from hurrying over to him. And he cuts over the lush green grass to meet me in the middle of the road.

“Hello,” I manage to say. I try to control my breathing, but my traitorous heart keeps drumming away, a timpani solo, without a care in the world.

“Hi,” he replies. His dark features give nothing away. And when he talks, the white noise from the busy street fifty feet away fades to the nothingness of a spider crawling across carpet.

For a second I think I hear a car coming, and I remember that we’re standing in the middle of a side street off a much-traveled road. My breath catches in my throat, from fear this time, as I begin to panic. Am I to die here, saying a meaningless hello to someone I’ve only just met? But as I turn to look, on both sides the street is deserted, just gray asphalt stretching out like the future.

“Walk with me,” he says, reaching for my hand and intertwining our fingers. Our hands fit perfectly together like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When I don’t protest, he starts walking, pulling me with him.

Those first few steps are the hardest, but the thrill of walking in the middle of the street with a stranger overpowers my apprehension. And I know it’s backwards. I know I have the wrong reaction, that I should be apprehensive and not thrilled. But I can’t help it. I should be scared. I know I should be scared. But oddly, I’m not,

And we walk down the gray asphalt that bends and curves out of sight like our future.

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